033.4111 MacDonald, Ramsay/34
Memorandum by the Secretary of State
The British Ambassador came to discuss the arrangements for the Prime Minister’s visit. The only information he had had was in the form of a letter from the Prime Minister which indicated that he would be here early in October and would remain a few days. He wanted to know whether he could place himself in the hands of [Page 2]the Secretary of State and the President and leave the matter of his engagements entirely to them. He made some suggestion in his letter to the British Ambassador that he might go from here to Canada afterwards. He asked whether he could have some discussions with the President of an informal and friendly character on the general situation without the character of negotiations. He proposes to come without any retinue except a couple of secretaries.
The Ambassador seemed to have it on his mind considerably and to be a little bit disturbed by not knowing any more details. He thought that while there was no necessity of any publicity being given to any arrangements that it would be well to begin thinking about them beforehand. I told him that I knew nothing about the date though I had a recollection of having heard that the proposal was to come early in October. I told him that I felt certain that if he came he would have ample opportunity for discussions with the President on the general situation in an informal and friendly manner. The Ambassador asked if I knew of any reason why this meeting could not take place at that time. I said so far as I knew there was no reason. The only point we had in mind was to insure that the Prime Minister’s visit was so timed in respect to the progress of the naval negotiations so that it might not produce any embarrassment to him or to those negotiations; that it was my opinion that those negotiations were going on so well now that we probably would be in the position of having reached a definite and successful conclusion very soon and I outlined to Sir Esme the Prime Minister’s last letter and the satisfaction which we felt over it. He asked me whether he could telegraph to his Government these views as to the Prime Minister’s visit and I told him I thought so, that I would see the President at lunch and would let him know if anything happened to the contrary.